Archive | September 17, 2014

Who Counts? A Census Report That Calls for Economic Justice In The Year To Come

As we approach Rosh Hashanah, the start of the Jewish New Year, we will think about how we have changed from one year to the next: how we have grown, and we can do differently in the year to come. This evaluative work is also done by the federal government through the United States Census (an official count or survey of the population.)

Earlier this week, the U.S. Census Bureau issued its report on Income and Poverty in the United States for the year 2013. This report presents crucial metrics that can be utilized to evaluate the past year’s policies and ultimately improve current ones for the future. This most recent census report showed some signs of positive development. The U.S’ official poverty rate declined from 15.0% in 2012 to 14.5% in 2013, indicating that there has been some reduction in poverty. The poverty rate for children under the age of 18 declined from 21.8% in 2012 to 19.9% in 2013, making 2013 the first time that the child poverty rate has declined since 2000. Read more…

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Senior LA Sarah Greenberg, Pocket Constitution

Happy Constitution Day! Reflecting on our “First Freedoms”

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

These fifteen words shape our nation’s “First Freedoms,” enshrined in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights as the separation of church and state (the Establishment Clause) and religious freedom (the Free Exercise Clause).

Bill of Rights; quill; American flag

227 years ago today, when the Constitution was ratified, these freedoms and the many others in the Bill of Rights, were not included. Many of the Framers thought the enumeration of these rights was unnecessary. Four years after the ratification of the Constitution, on December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was added to the law of the land. But, it was not until the 1940s that the Supreme Court used the Fourteenth Amendment to extend the Religion Clauses to state and local governments.

Read more…

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Enroll Your Congregation in GreenFaith!

The URJ recently renewed its partnership with GreenFaith, an independent, interfaith organization that helps houses of worship become better stewards of the environment. As part of the renewed partnership, we are looking for 20 URJ congregations to enroll (free of charge!) in either GreenFaith’s Certification or Shield Programs.

What is the GreenFaith Certification Program? Read more…

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